• March 2017

    InTech Plus

    Welcome to InTech Plus, the International Society of Automation’s online eNewsletter that connects automation professionals to all things automation.

    Control Valve versus Variable-Speed Drive for Flow Control

    By Gregory K. McMillan and Mohammad Al-Khalifah

    Pumping applications with a variable-flow requirement can lower energy and life-cycle costs with the application of a variable-speed motor to deliver the desired process flow rate. The savings are greatest for large flow systems, high turndowns, difficult process fluids, and extremely sensitive processes. Find out why. Read more

    Accessing Meter Accuracy for Leak Detection

    By Ed Farmer, PE

    According to ISA author Ed Farmer, meter data are essential in leak detection and location because detection sensitivity requires accurate and dependable measurement. To determine data accuracy, you must assess meter accuracy. Farmer provides proven techniques and examples that can be used to develop an effective metering quality evaluation and management system. Read more

      Automation War Stories--Lessons Learned from the Field

    Planning: The Key to Success!

       (Or, What Happens When You Don’t Make a Plan)

    Listen to ISA members Greg Lehmann, technical manager for AECom Technology Corp., Denver, CO, and Jim Garrison, senior specialist at aeSolutions, Greenville, SC, share their real-life experiences and the lessons learned at a gas pipeline compressor station and in a biofuels feedstock plant, respectively.


    Level Story artLevel Instrument Selection

    By Hunter Vegas

    Level instruments have advantages and disadvantages based on the situation, so how do you select the best level instrument for a particular application? “It is important to stress that no technology is perfect for every situation,” says Hunter Vegas. This article focuses on how an engineer might select a level instrument and the specific reasons why one instrument might be chosen over another. It broadly reviews the issues and weaknesses associated with the more common level measurement technologies. Read more

    Inside ISA

    ISA Author Q&A

    ISA Author Covers Advances in Measurement Uncertainty

    In a recent interview, Ronald H. Dieck, a former ISA president and a recognized expert in measurement uncertainty analysis, discussed the technological advances and improvements in measurement uncertainty methods and applications. Dieck points out that there are many ways to conduct an uncertainty analysis and he provides an uncertainty analysis template in his recently updated book. The template is designed to offer a starting point for engineers and scientists to perform an uncertainty analysis. It contains the major equations and summations used in estimating measurement uncertainty, errors and uncertainties that affect results, and more. A working version of the template is available for free online. Read more

    ISA Panel Session Review

    Act Now to Protect Oil and Gas Facilities from Cyberattack Patrick J. Gouhin

    At a recent Bloomberg LIVE conference in Houston, TX, ISA’s Executive Director and CEO, Patrick J. Gouhin, spoke on the future of cybersecurity in the U.S. oil and gas sector, and urged energy executives to take action now to protect their facilities and operations from cyberattack. Gouhin participated in a panel session that examined the need for solutions that can both prevent a cyberattack from occurring and mitigate the damage if one does occur, and the future of cybersecurity strategies and defenses in the oil and gas industry, given the absence of mandated standards and regulations. Read more

    Test Your Knowledge! ISA Certification Review

    CCST Quiz

    A differential pressure transmitter connected across an orifice plate in gas service by flange taps and sensing (impulse) lines will probably experience abnormal readings if the:

    A. Sense lines are of equal height and length

    B. Meter is mounted below the process line

    C. Meter is mounted above the process line

    D. Sense lines are condensate free

    View Online


     Want more practice? For more sample questions, check out the ISA Certification Review archives.

    CAP Quiz

    A project manager prepares a work breakdown structure (WBS) by identifying each major task and related subtasks required to fulfill the project objective. Subtasks are further reduced into units and subunits with associated cost projects and assigned responsibilities. This activity occurs during which phase of a project’s life cycle in the ISA CAP program’s model?

    A. Project definition

    B. Feasibility study

    C. System design

    D. Software development

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    Automation Milestone image
    Flowmeters: 100+ Years
    of Innovation

    Although flowmeters were used as early as the Roman times when they monitored flow on the viaducts, we begin our look at this technology in 1908 when German engineer Karl Kueppers invented the first variable-area flowmeter—a rotameter— with a rotating float. Read more

    CAP Quiz

    Mobile apps are handy tools when you’re on the go. We have compiled a list of apps that are recommended by our members as being time- and effort-saving resources for automation professionals. Included in the list are engineering calculators and apps for reviewing AutoCAD drawings, as well as apps for specialized tasks, such as heat transfer calculation, and decoding a Rockwell programmable logic controller (PLC) status light meaning. Click here for cool tools